What Republicans Need Most of All for 2016: Competence Jed Babbin

We knew very little about Barack Obama when he ran for president because he’d accomplished nothing of importance before he did.

We knew he voted “present” when faced with controversy, had served as a law school professor, and had been a “community organizer” in Chicago, though, what such a person was, we couldn’t say. We knew that he had no experience in the military, business, economics or foreign policy. We knew he was a liberal, but we really didn’t know him at all.

More than five years into his presidency, we know him all too well. There’s a weariness setting in the country, something like Jimmy Carter’s malaise, but more important is the common realization that another presidency like his must not occur.

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To prevent another Obama-type presidency, we need to insist that the next Republican candidate meet certain criteria — and not those the political consultant class foists off on us every four years. Their criteria, such as “electability,” are entirely subjective (and their candidates end up losing anyway). Presidential candidates can’t be judged like an Olympic ice-skating event.

There are at least 20 or 30 Republicans who want to run in 2016. At least six of them could be named without stopping to think, because they’ve either been around the track before or have done nothing but campaign since entering the national stage.

But it’s hard to see how the field has improved over the last two presidential races. In 2007 and 2011, Republicans were celebrating the ‘strength” of their bench just as they are today. But the primaries only served to determine who was the tallest dwarf and, in 2012, to damage the eventual nominee. If that happens again — and it looks as if it will, given the current gaggle of “front-runners” and wannabes — the Republicans can be sure of losing again.

The most essential factor a candidate needs to be worthy of support isn’t race or gender. It’s encompassed in the kind of competence and political skill that can only result from the right education, experience and training.

THE CLOSING OF THE ACADEMIC MIND- M.G. OPREA

Harvard student Sandra Y.L. Korn recently proposed in The Harvard Crimson that academics should be stopped if their research is deemed oppressive. Arguing that “academic justice” should replace “academic freedom,” she writes: “If our university community opposes racism, sexism, and heterosexism, why should we put up with research that counters our goals simply in the name of ‘academic freedom’?”

In other words, Korn would have the university cease to be a forum for open debate and free inquiry in the name of justice, as defined by mainstream liberal academia.

Unfortunately, this is already a reality in most universities across America, where academics and university administrators alike are trying, often successfully, to discredit and prohibit certain ideas and ways of thinking. Particularly in the humanities, many ideas are no longer considered legitimate, and debate over them is de facto non-existent. In order to delegitimize researchers who are out of line, academics brand them with one of several terms that have emerged from social science theory.

Most people outside academia are unaware that being called ‘hegemonic’ is the insult du jour.
The first term, “hegemonic,” is frequently used in history courses, literary criticism, and gender studies. Hegemony, of course, is a legitimate word that is often useful in describing consistency and uniformity. However, most people outside academia are unaware that being called ‘hegemonic’ is the insult du jour. It strongly implies that you are close-minded and perhaps even bigoted. This term may be applied to offences ranging from referencing the habits or dress of a cultural group to discussing the views held by a religion (and daring to question them—so long as the religion in question is not Christianity).

To do these things is to “essentialize” those people by speaking about them broadly and being so bold as to imply that they may share a practice or belief in a general sense. It is the insult of those who would have every department in academia broken down into sub-departments ad infinitum in order to avoid saying anything general about anything, resulting in verbal and intellectual paralysis.

This strategy of labeling has been particularly successful in its application to middle-eastern and Islamic studies. Any author, or student, who does not join in the liberal narrative about Islamic culture—which includes unwavering support for Palestinians, the absolute equality of men and women in Islam, and an insistence on the peaceful nature of the religion despite any violent tendencies in its foundation— will find themselves labeled an “orientalist.”

Write anything else and you will find yourself labeled an orientalist and no graduate course will touch your work with a ten-foot pole.
Edward Said popularized this term in his 1978 post-colonial work Orientalism. According to many of my colleagues, an orientalist is a person who writes about the Middle East from a “western perspective,” which is when one does not unquestioningly support and affirm Middle Eastern and Islamic culture. This does not mean that westerners are excluded from writing about the Middle East and Islam. A westerner can do so successfully so long as their research is void of criticism. Write anything else and you will find yourself labeled an orientalist and no graduate course will touch your work with a ten-foot pole.

WHO HAS IT WORSE? WOMEN IN AMERICA OR ELSEWHERE? BY MOLLIE HEMINGWAY ****

Who could deny that the problems identified by feminists in America are serious? Here are just five recent examples of how bad women have it in the States, each followed by a look at a minor problem faced by women in other parts of the world.

American Problem #1

Gendered toys being distributed McDonald’s.
Did you know that McDonald’s distributes toys with its so-called Happy Meals? And that these toys come in “boy” and “girl” varieties? Can you believe what a human rights violation this is? Slate is on it, thank goodness. This must be stopped.

Global Problem #1

234 girls kidnapped from Nigerian schools last week by Islamist extremists.
As the Associated Press reports:

The kidnappings are believed to have been carried out by Nigeria’s Islamic extremist rebels, known as Boko Haram. Boko Haram — the nickname means “Western education is sinful” — is violently campaigning to establish an Islamic Shariah state in Nigeria, whose 170 million people are about half Muslim and half Christian. Boko Haram has been abducting some girls and young women in attacks on schools, villages and towns but last week’s mass kidnapping is unprecedented. The extremists use the young women as porters, cooks and sex slaves, according to Nigerian officials.
American Problem #2

High school boys asking famous people to the prom.
Reigning Miss America Nina Davuluri was at a high school assembly recently to discuss the importance of science and math. Male aggressor Patrick Farves took the opportunity to ask her to prom. He was suspended.

Feminist leader Amanda Marcotte called this practice what it really is: sexual harrassment of the worst kind imaginable.

Global Problem #2

Iran to hang 26-year-old rape victim.
Rayhaneh Jabbari, a 26-year-old former interior designer, was scheduled to be hanged after serving seven years in prison for stabbing a man she claims drugged her and attempted to rape her. The execution has been postponed, but is still pending.

American Problem #3

Banning the word “bossy.”
In March, high-achieving women such as Beyonce and Condoleezza Rice joined Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s campaign to ban the adjective “bossy.”

And no, it’s not bossy that all the cool and beautiful girls who are super-popular and wealthy got together and decided that not only were they not going to use a word but that no one else could either. Why do you ask?

Kansas: 2014 Candidates for Congress – Where They Stand

http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/detail/kansas-2014-candidates-for-congress-where-they-stand

Filing Deadline (Party Candidates): June 2, 2014
Filing Deadline (Independents): August 4, 2014
Primary: August 5, 2014
To see the actual voting records of all incumbents on other issues such as Foreign Policy, Second Amendment Issues, Homeland Security, and other issues as well as their rankings by special interest groups please use the links followed by two stars (**). Also included, wherever available is their ranking by the Arab American Institute indicating their records on Arab/Israel issues.

U.S. SENATOR:
Pat Roberts (R) Incumbent
http://www.robertsforsenate.com/
http://www.ontheissues.org/senate/pat_roberts.htm**
HOT BUTTON ISSUES
http://www.roberts.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=IssueStatements

ENERGY
Energy is a commodity upon which homeowners and businesses rely. As a commodity, energy prices fluctuate. Unfortunately, changes in the global energy market have made energy prices more volatile. As highly populated countries like China and India consume more energy, global demand for oil and gas will continue to grow. Simple economics teaches us that as demand grows and supply remains steady, prices will increase.
In order to stabilize energy prices, we need to find new energy resources at home to increase our supply. With this in mind, I support the exploration and production of our oil and natural gas resources in both Alaska and the lower 48 states, greater development of our vast offshore energy supplies, and expanded access to crude from Canadian oil sands through the immediate construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. Approval of this project makes sense from an environmental, economic, and national security perspective.
HEALTHCARE
Strong critic of Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)
WASHINGTON, DC – April 1-U.S. Senator Pat Roberts today introduced the Repeal Rationing in Support of Life Act to protect life-saving medical treatments threatened by rationing in Obamacare.
This is the third in a series of bills, part of a comprehensive effort by Senator Roberts, to prevent the federal government from limiting access to life-saving medical care for patients at all stages of life. Audio and video of Senator Roberts speaking about the bill on the Senate floor is here.
“Obamacare has made many Americans fearful that cost-cutting and rationing of care will limit their options for health care at a time when they are vulnerable–when they are sick or battling a life threatening condition,” Roberts said. “By introducing this bill, we are fighting against hidden barriers to treatment and life-saving medicine.”
IMMIGRATION
There has been much debate about how to address illegal immigration, border security, and legal immigration policy. While I agree that some of our immigration laws need updated, any effort to reform our system must begin with securing our borders. I have and will continue to support legislation that strengthens the security of our borders and reduces illegal immigration. I will carefully scrutinize proposals that affect our nation’s immigration policies and will work to ensure that Americans are first in line for available jobs and that those remaining jobs go to a legal workforce.

Milton Wolf M.D(R) – Tea Party Challenger
http://www.miltonwolf.com/
HOT BUTTON ISSUES

HEALTHCARE
PatientCare, Not ObamaCare
As a physician, I’ve taken an oath to my patients and whether I serve one patient at a time or all of America, I will abide by that oath to first do no harm.
ObamaCare is a destructive and disastrous law that must be completely repealed and replaced with a patient-centered, market-driven healthcare plan. I call it PatientCare. The cornerstones of PatientCare are compassion and efficiency. Compassion is achieved when doctors and patients are free to choose what care is right for them and efficiency is achieved through the power of the free market. With PatientCare, your insurance will be personal, portable and permanent and neither the government nor your employer can intrude upon your private doctor-patient relationship.
TERM LIMITS FOR CONGRESS
I pledge to serve only two terms in the United States Senate. George Washington began the tradition of self-imposed term limits. The Founders envisioned public service as just that: service, not a career. Many have followed Washington’s example, including our own Governor Brownback who pledged to only serve two terms in the U.S. Senate, and kept his word. Sadly however, too many have treated political office as a career, and they cast meaningless votes for term limits while always exempting themselves. The permanent political class is the problem and it is time to send the career politicians home.
Imagine a simpler tax code, like the FairTax, where everyone finally plays by the same set of rules.
Imagine an energy policy that focuses on unleashing America’s power rather than driving up our gas prices.
Imagine an immigration policy that rewards those who love America, who play by the rules, and who yearn to breathe free.
Imagine a foreign policy where America’s military remains unrivaled and our soldiers know that we have their backs just as they have ours, but we don’t run into every civil war and skirmish when it does not threaten America’s vital national security interests.
Imagine a government that does not have access to your cell phone calls or email password.
Imagine an America that re-embraces the Constitution and the American Idea of individual liberty, limited government and free-market values.

Chad Taylor (D) – Challenger
http://taylorforussenate.com/

Taylor was first elected District Attorney of Shawnee County in 2008, winning 60 percent of the vote, and ran unopposed in 2012, winning a second term. As District Attorney, Chad has worked tirelessly to ensure that the people of Shawnee County are protected, gaining a tough-on-crime reputation through successful prosecution of criminals and advocacy for victims. DA Taylor’s office recently created a cold-case unit that is focused on obtaining long-overdue justice for victims and family members.
Taylor has been a staunch supporter of transparency in government, enforcing the state’s open meetings and open records act in multiple arenas, including the Kansas State Legislature and Capitol.

Jerry Moran (R) Next Election in 2016.
________________________________________
U.S. CONGRESS

District 1

Tim Huelskamp (R) Incumbent
http://www.huelskamp.org/
http://www.ontheissues.org/house/Tim_Huelskamp.htm**Rated -3 by AAI, indicating a anti-Arab anti-Palestine voting record. (May 2012)
http://huelskamp.house.gov/
HOT BUTTON ISSUES
ENERGY
We want more: Exploring and developing our domestic and friendly foreign sources is the key priority.
Our country’s economy and national security future hinge upon our ability to maintain and develop afford energy sources. Without our own reliable and consistent source of energy, we remain reliable on others to power our homes, businesses, farms, and cars.
Our energy resources are vast, yet much remains undeveloped and underutilized due to Washington restrictions and political controls. Whether it is their continued attacks on coal and all fossil fuels, their prohibitions on drilling offshore or on federal lands, the President’s single-handed decision to stop the importation of Canadian oil through the proposed Keystone pipeline, bureaucrats (particularly at the EPA) and liberal politicians simply oppose energy development and the tens and thousands of jobs that come with it.
HEALTHCARE
One of my first actions when I arrived in Congress was to vote for repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare. I support repeal of ObamaCare, because the law is unworkable, unpopular, unaffordable and unfair.
Instead of ObamaCare, it is time for some real, patient-centered health care reforms. Specific reforms to improve our health care system include:
• Meaningful litigation and tort reform, so that doctors, nurses, hospitals and other providers are able to focus on what is needed in the exam room – not what is required in the court room.
• Allowing consumers the opportunity to shop and purchase health insurance across state lines.
• Providing equal tax and regulatory treatment for individuals and self-employed in the same way that employees are treated, affording greater fairness for all.
• Expanding health savings accounts and allowing health insurance portability.
• Converting federal Medicaid dollars to block grants to allow states greater flexibility and responsibility in taking care of the medical needs of the poor in their states.
• Encouraging greater personal choice and responsibility in health- and lifestyle-related decisions.
TAX REFORM
America needs a flatter and fairer system.
The U.S. needs to overhaul and completely jettison our current tax system. It is too complicated, too long, too prone to cronyism. Already more than 1,000,000 words long, the U.S. tax code is too long, complicated and burden real job growth. Instead of punishing success, opportunity and entrepreneurial, it is time to eliminate a tax code that allows Washington bureaucrats and politicians to be picking winners and losers. As we have seen, the Obama Administration is using the IRS to target and punish Americans who disagree with their political beliefs.
One idea I support is the Fair Tax proposal. I have cosponsored H.R. 25, which will implement a national sales tax in place of income and other types of taxes. This approach will allow us to eliminate the IRS altogether. Additionally, I do support other proposals that would create a flatter, fairer tax system that rewards job-creation and economic growth, allows American businesses to compete globally on a level playing field, and eliminates the social engineering and progressive manipulation throughout the tax code.

Alan LaPolice (R) Challenger
http://true-conservative.org/
HOT BUTTON ISSUES
HEALTHCARE
Comprehensive and Conservative Health Care Reform – Like Education, Healthcare is unique. The current health care law is an attempt at a one-size fits all centralized government plan. The Affordable Care Act, commonly known as ObamaCare is currently the overreaching law of the land. A super-majority is needed in both houses of Congress as any successful attempt at repealing it during this administration would result in a presidential veto which would then need to be overridden. Alternatively, I propose offering new legislation to replace this untenable, unpopular law with one requiring programs to be designed by each individual state. Massachusetts’ RomneyCare can be the starting point for each state to design its own insurance based health care system to be solely implemented and managed by state legislatures.
• a. States with shared borders, demographics, or basic needs can enter into their own exchanges to allow for competitive pricing. State legislatures have the option of working with other state legislatures or simply copying features that work in the interest of providing unique, state by state solutions to this growing crisis.
• b. The same federal subsidies offered under ObamaCare could be allocated to each state to self-determine administration. Overall savings would be seen by cutting federal bureaucratic waste and state by state efficiency and efficacy.
• c. States wishing to offer their own “Public Option” would have discretion to self-determine its implementation or the implementation of other micro solutions rather than macro bandages.
• d. The only federally regulated medical program (other than the military) shall be Veteran’s Affairs funding. I propose to enact legislation allowing Veterans to be treated at any facility. Billing for all Veteran medical treatment shall be billed to the nearest VA hospital. The VA shall have the authority to pay according to standard reimbursement rates. Veterans will then be rebilled based on the VA rate minus any percentage of disability rating they are entitled to. A Veteran with a 50% rating would be responsible for paying 50% of the VA billing amount at any public or private facility.
TAXES AND ECONOMY
Economic Realignment – Across the board Tax Cuts made possible by overhauling the Federal Tax Code. Across the board spending cuts on all major budget items. Removal of all unnecessary regulations and redundancies.
• a. Removal of ALL federal tax breaks and deductions (both individual and corporate “loopholes”) unless specifically authorized by the Legislative Branch of government. Any new deductions shall be authorized only by Congress specifically for American job creation or new American entrepreneurship. These deductions shall be limited in length to no more than 5 years but can re-authorization by a simple majority in both houses.
• b. Creation of a simplified four-step progressive tax structure with the lowest step being 15% for the lowest income earners and 30% for the highest income earners. Capital gains and carried interest are treated the same as every other form of income and will be subject to the same tax step based on total earnings.
• c. Corporate earnings shall also be subject to the same four-step progressive tax structure but the earning limits for each step are considerably higher. Again, deductions can only be authorized by limited federal legislation tied directly to the creation of American jobs and the development of new industries in the United States.
• d. Zero deductions shall be given to corporations relocating American jobs overseas.
• e. Reduction in spending for Medicare and Medicaid closely in line with the proposals made by Paul Ryan. Additional spending cuts for these programs will be made by lowering costs due to state sponsored programs and reduction in waste.
• f. Continued cuts in Discretionary spending through dramatic reforms in government bureaucracy by removing many Democrat proposed regulations and redundancies.
• g. Significant cuts in targeted Defense spending, primarily, returning unnecessarily deployed brigades from all foreign stations and engagements. Enacting a 10% moratorium on all private defense contracts and the removal of every no-bid contract. Improved efficiency in the logistics of military spending, e.g. allocation of weaponry, vehicles and supplies based on actual necessities and not artificially inflated numbers based on bureaucratic spending regulations.
Kent Roth (R) – Challenger
http://kentrothforkansas.wordpress.com/

Jim Sherow (D) – Challenger
http://www.supportsherow.com/

Bryan Whitney (D) – Challenger
https://www.facebook.com/whitneyforthebigfirst

District 2

Lynn Jenkins (R) Incumbent
http://www.lynnjenkins.com/
http://www.ontheissues.org/house/lynn_jenkins.htm **•Rated -3 by AAI, indicating a anti-Arab anti-Palestine voting record. (May 2012)
http://lynnjenkins.house.gov/#dialog
HOT BUTTON ISSUES
ENERGY
The recent surge in energy prices underscores the need for an all-of-the above approach to solving our energy problems. That includes oil and gas, clean-coal, nuclear, wind, solar and all renewable sources of energy. Unfortunately, the current Administration is pursuing an agenda making American energy harder to produce, more expensive for families and small businesses and our nation more dependent on the whims of unfriendly oil cartels.
In addition to expanding oil and gas exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and the outer continental shelf (OCS), we need to take a look at the complex regulations governing energy development. There has not been an oil refinery to come online in 30 years. To address the energy problem in the near-term, we must increase our fossil-fuel production here at home and reduce our dependence on foreign energy.
Voted for construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline without limiting amendments.

HEALTHCARE
There is no doubt we have a health care crisis on our hands. We can either empower individuals or hand those decisions over to government bureaucrats and politicians. I am confident we can fix our health care problems by weeding out waste, fraud, and abuse to bring down costs while still offering affordable health care. It is my priority to ensure your health care remains in your hands, not the government’s.

Meeting the health needs of this nation is a priority for the Administration and for all of us in Congress. While I support reforms that would bring down costs for families and address the issue of pre-existing conditions, I could not support the health care reform signed into law by President Obama that cuts Medicare, raises taxes and will result in higher premiums for the American people.

The Ways and Means committee has jurisdiction over entitlement programs including Medicare. Additionally, the committee is responsible for overseeing the implementation and reforms to the new federal health care law which was enacted in March of 2010. As a member of this committee, I look forward to playing a key role in the replacement of this package with true, responsible, cost-effective reforms to our health care system.
IMMIGRATION
Over the past decade, unchecked illegal immigration has allowed over 12 million illegal immigrants to stream into our country. Illegal immigration places a difficult fiscal burden on local communities and compromises our national security interests.
As a nation of immigrants, we must continue to welcome legal immigrants who wish to live and work in our nation. At the same time we must secure our borders and refuse to grant amnesty to those who violate our laws. We also cannot ignore the gaping holes that exist along our border. It is a matter of national security and it will continue to be my priority to make sure Kansans and all Americans remain safe and secure.

Margie Wakefield (D) – Challenger
http://www.wakefieldforkansas.com/
Margie received a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri in 1980. After graduating from college, Margie worked in United States Senator Bob Dole’s office in Topeka, Kansas as a constituent services aide. From Senator Dole, Margie learned the importance of civil discourse, compromise, engaging and listening to constituents.
In 1985, Margie earned her law degree from the University of Kansas. Since then, Margie has maintained a law office in Douglas County and been a member of the American Bar Association and the Kansas Bar Association. She currently owns her own practice, Margie Wakefield Law Office, P.A., where she focuses on family law. Margie’s success as an attorney has been built upon her honesty and her ability to negotiate deals between opposing parties.
An active member of the Democratic Party, Margie has served as a precinct committeewoman, chair of the statewide Protect the Vote project, and as a delegate to the national convention. She is immediate past chair of the Douglas County Democratic Party and the Second Congressional District Caucus. In these roles, she regularly traveled throughout the state listening to Kansans concerns about the direction the state and nation are both headed.

District 3

Kevin Yoder (R) Incumbent
http://yoderforcongress.com/
http://www.ontheissues.org/house/Kevin_Yoder.htm **Rated -3 by AAI, indicating a anti-Arab anti-Palestine voting record. (May 2012)
http://yoder.house.gov/
HOT BUTTON ISSUES
ENERGY
Supported Construction of the KeystoneXL Pipeline without limiting amendments.
HEALTHCARE
Repeal and defund ObamaCare
I can’t support legislation rammed through Congress that will raise our taxes, increase insurance premiums, and promise to make drastic cuts in Medicare. Americans deserve better than this law. I will work to repeal and defund this bad legislation that will drive up costs, increase the deficit, grow bureaucracy and lower the standards of health care that Americans expect. I will work to build true health care reform that focuses on free market competition, patient choice and high quality of care.
IMMIGRATION
Secure our borders; eliminate incentives; increase H1B visas
Securing our borders is a fundamental job of our Federal Government. In Washington I will fight to secure our borders. Controlling the flow of immigrants into our country’s borders is both a national security and economic issue. We must eliminate incentives to illegal immigrants by building greater cooperation with businesses to ensure illegals are not employed, restricting illegals’ access to public services, & by strengthening the legal immigration process & increasing the number of H-1b visas.
Kelly Kultala (D) –Challenger
http://www.kellykultala.com/

Reggie Marselus (D) – Labor Union Activist
https://www.facebook.com/reggie.marselus

District 4

Mike Pompeo (R) Incumbent
http://www.pompeoforcongress.com/

http://www.ontheissues.org/house/Mike_Pompeo.htm **Rated -5 by AAI, indicating a anti-Arab anti-Palestine voting record. (May 2012)

HOT BUTTON ISSUES
HEALTHCARE
I voted for the repeal of Obamacare during my first 30 days in office. I proudly support market-based reforms that allow access to quality, affordable health care. I have also introduced legislation to ensure that Obamacare federal grant money returned by states like Kansas goes directly toward deficit reduction, rather than Obamacare programs or a Sebelius slush fund H.R. 2961. I will continue advocating for real solutions to the health care cost and access issues that plague so many Americans. However, we cannot achieve real health care reform without also addressing the spiraling costs of Medicaid and Medicare. These programs will cease to exist unless they are fundamentally restructured to allow for more patient choice and greater efficiency. I will continue fighting against big-government Obamacare-type policies and for real solutions to the growing health care crisis.
IMMIGRATION
I strongly oppose amnesty for illegal immigrants. Such legislation will only reward illegal behavior and encourage other immigrants to enter the United States illegally. Respecting the rule of law is a critical aspect of being a U.S. citizen.
ENERGY
With gas prices continuing to rise, it is critical that we promote commonsense energy policies that reduce pain at the pump for American consumers. I have outlined Five Principles of Sound Energy Policy, which will put our country on a sensible energy path:
• Promote domestic production of energy
• Reduce regulatory barriers to greater energy production
• Do not pick winners or losers; government must not favor one energy sector over another
• Reduce government spending to fight gas price inflation and the weakening dollar
• Oppose foreign policies that further destabilize the Middle East
In line with these principles, I have led the charge to end all federal energy subsidies. The government should not use tax dollars to prop up specific energy sources in the market. The $500 million Solyndra scandal demonstrates what happens when government bureaucrats use taxpayer’s money to support failing business models.
Supports construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline without limiting amendments.
No challengers have filed yet…

DANIEL GREENFIELD: THE ENVIRONMENTAL APOCALYPSE

Early in the morning, while most are still sleeping, groups of elderly Chinese women spread out across city streets. They tear open trash bags, pick through the litter and sort out bottles and cans that come with a deposit. And then they bring them to the local supermarket to a machine that scans and evaluates each can, accepting and rejecting them one by one, and finally printing out a receipt.

The interaction between the elderly immigrant who speaks broken English or the homeless man who is barely holding it together… and the machine is a stark contrast between what the new smart clean green economy pretends to be and what it actually is.

The machine, like so much else that we design, is impressive, but its existence depends on someone digging through the trash with their hands for much less than minimum wage to extract a generally useless item.

The entire bottle economy, which has more than a passing resemblance to the trash sorting operations in the Third World carried out by despised and persecuted minorities, like the Zabbaleen in Egypt, is artificial. The United States is not so poor that it actually needs to recycle. It recycles not under the impulse of economic imperatives, but of government mandates.

The elderly Chinese women dig through the trash because politicians decided to impose a tax on us and an incentive for them in the form of a deposit. All those useless 1980s laws created a strange underground economy of marginalized people digging through the trash.

Every time politicians celebrate a recycling target met and show off some shiny new machine, hiding behind the curtain are the dirty weary people dragging through the streets at the crack of dawn, donning rubber gloves and tearing apart trash bags. They are the unglamorous low-tech reality of environmentalism.

Gabriel Garcia-Marquez—Castro Propagandist & Police Snitch By Humberto Fontova

The eulogies to Nobel-winning author Gabriel Garcia-Marquez upon his death last week make two points official:

1.) No amount of moral and intellectual wretchedness will earn an artist even the mildest rebuke from most of his professional peers and their related institutions—so long as the wretch hires out to communists.

2.) The masochism (to sidestep more “Mc Carthyite” terms) of Democratic U.S. Presidents is boundless.

Not that the media eulogies sidestep Garcia-Marquez’ politics. Most are quite upfront about it. Let’s take the one run by The New York Times as emblematic:

“Like many Latin American intellectuals and artists, Mr. García Márquez felt impelled to speak out on the political issues of his day. He viewed the world from a left-wing perspective, bitterly opposing Gen. Augusto Pinochet, the right-wing Chilean dictator, and unswervingly supporting Fidel Castro in Cuba. Mr. Castro became such a close friend that Mr. García Márquez showed him drafts of his unpublished books.”

Notice the word “dictator” above. But with whom does the New York Times associate it? Pinochet, of course. Does Fidel Castro also qualify as dictator? The New York Times does not tell us.

“Mr. García Márquez’s ties to Mr. Castro troubled some intellectuals and human rights advocates,” continues the NYTimes. “Susan Sontag wrote in the 1980s, “To me it’s scandalous that a writer of such enormous talent be a spokesperson for a government which has put more people in jail (proportionately to its population) than any other government in the world…He attributed the criticism to what he called Americans’ “almost pornographic obsession with Castro.” But he became sensitive enough about the issue to intercede on behalf of jailed Cuban dissidents.”

In fact, fully contrary to the New York Times’ whitewash, Garcia Marquez’ “intercession” is what got some of those dissidents jailed and tortured by his friend Castro in the first place. Let’s not mince words. Let’s call out Garcia-Marquez categorically: on top of his decades of pro-bono propaganda services for Castroism, Garcia-Marquez was also a volunteer snitch for Castro’s KGB-mentored secret police.

The Blair Doctrine Posted Daniel Greenfield

Tony Blair’s latest speech on Islam is significant as much for what it doesn’t mention as for what it does. Not long ago, a speech of this sort would have been rich with contrasts between dictatorship and democracy. Democracy, the audience would have been told solemnly, equals freedom and modernity.

Instead Blair mentions the word ‘democracy’ only three times.

The first time he’s referring to Israel and the second time he disavows the entire program of dropping elections on Muslim countries and expecting their populations to make the right choices. Instead he argues,

“Democracy cannot function except as a way of thinking as well as voting. You put your view; you may lose; you try to win next time; or you win but you accept that you may lose next time. That is not the way that the Islamist ideology works.”

This is very much a post-Arab Spring speech and though he offers obligatory praise of that over-hyped phenomenon, the lessons he has drawn from its failure make for a changed perspective.

How changed? Blair endorses the Egyptian popular overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood and urges support for the new government within the larger context of “supporting and assisting” those who take on “Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood”.

That’s an impossible position in Washington D.C., but it emerges naturally out of an understanding that democracy isn’t enough and that an Islamist political victory inherently dismantles democracy.

“Islamist ideology”, Blair says, has an “exclusivist” ultimate goal, which is “not a society which someone else can change after winning an election”. The Muslim Brotherhood and terrorist groups, he says, are both part of an “overall ideology” in which “such extremism can take root”. They are all totalitarian group that differ on “how to achieve the goals of Islamism” rather than on “what those goals are.”

Democracy is downright destructive in a political landscape in which Islamic political forces compete. Instead Blair’s new doctrine replaces democracy with religious freedom.

The former British Prime Minister calls for supporting “the principles of religious freedom and open, rule based economies. It means helping those countries whose people wish to embrace those principles to achieve them. Where there has been revolution, we should be on the side of those who support those principles and opposed to those who would thwart them.”

GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ- LIED ABOUT MACONDO BY DAVID GOLDMAN

Gabriel Garcia Marquez died last week. His was a reputation built on the enthusiasm of the reading public, not just the accolades of the critics. He was beloved, and for all the wrong reasons. I despised his work when forced to read it in undergraduate Spanish-language courses and again when I tried to read it later in life. His most popular work, 100 Years of Solitude, pictures the unreality and weirdness (the “miraculous real,” mistranslated as “magical realism”) in the isolated Colombian hamlet of Macondo through several generations of the Buendia family. They eventually are carried off by a cyclone in Garcia Marquez’ account. But that isn’t what happened to them. They were murdered hideously in Colombia’s “Violencia” of 1948-1958, along with 300,000 other Colombians, after committing hideous murders of their own.

Wikipedia says the following about Colombia’s civil war:

Because of incomplete or non-existing statistical records, exact measurement of La Violencia’s humanitarian consequences is impossible. Scholars, however, estimate that between 200,000 and 300,000 lives were lost, 600,000 and 800,000 injured, and almost one million displaced. La Violencia affected 20% of the population, directly or indirectly.

Yet, La Violencia, did not come to be known as La Violencia simply because of the number of people it affected; it was the manner in which most of the killings, maimings, and dismemberings were done. Certain death and torture techniques became so commonplace that they were given names. For example, “picar para tamal,” which involved slowly cutting up a living person’s body, or “bocachiquiar,” where hundreds of small punctures were made until the victim slowly bled to death. Former Senior Director of International Economic Affairs for the United States National Security Council and current President of the Institute for Global Economic Growth, Norman A. Bailey describes the atrocities succinctly: “Ingenious forms of quartering and beheading were invented and given such names as the “corte de mica”, “corte de corbata”, and so on. Crucifixions and hangings were commonplace, political “prisoners” were thrown from airplanes in flight, infants were bayoneted, schoolchildren, some as young as eight years old, were raped en masse, unborn infants were removed by crude Caesarian section and replaced by roosters, ears were cut off, scalps removed, and so on”. While scholars, historians, and analysts have all debated the source of this era of unrest, they have yet to formulate a widely accepted explanation for why it escalated to the notable level it did.

HOORAY FOR ELLEN DE GENERES- LINES UP AGAINST BDS AND FOR SODA STREAM ****

HUGE BDS fail! Ellen Degeneres gives away free Soda Stream to studio audience for Earth Day! Watch the clip.

http://www.ellentv.com/videos/0-gmkujzaq/

The Ellen show is huge in America, so this is a major blow to the BDS effort in the US. Watch the audience go wild upon learning they won a free Soda Stream!

http://honestreporting.com/more-a-list-support-for-sodastream/

First came Scarlett Johansson and now…Ellen DeGeneres.

A-list celebrities continue to line up behind SodaStream, the fizzy water company that’s been the bane of the BDS movement for its factory in Mishor Adumim, in the West Bank.

The company’s latest triumph took place this week when Ellen DeGeneres, the queen of daytime television, gave away SodaStream machines to her studio audience “in honor of Earth Day.”

Ellen’s website also touted the environmental benefits of SodaStream over other soda companies:

The average American family will save over 2,000 bottles and cans every year by switching to SodaStream. Everyone in the audience went home with a Wood Starter SodaStream and $200 Crate & Barrel gift card to stock up on SodaStream products.

AMITY SHLAES: HOW THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT COULD COLLAPSE

Court cases involving religion have a way of stopping big social legislation.

Some time in the coming months, the Supreme Court will hand down its opinion in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby, the case of the retailer that claims that its religious freedom or that of its employees is violated by contraceptive coverage required as part of the Affordable Care Act. The attitude of the health-care act’s supporters toward such cases is irritation. How dare a little religious case trip up the mighty Affordable Care Act and jeopardize the ACA’s establishment as permanent law of the land?

Cases involving religious details, however, do have a way of stopping big social legislation, and not only because they violate the principles of the religious denominations involved. Regardless of the Court’s decision, even pro-choice Jews, Unitarians, and Muslims may eventually change their views on the ACA precisely because of Hobby Lobby and cases like it.

To see how this might happen, it helps to go back to a case involving a commensurately ambitious piece of legislation, Franklin Roosevelt’s 1933 National Industrial Recovery Act.

The National Industrial Recovery Act, like the Affordable Care Act, aimed to do nothing less than change an entire sector of the economy — in that case, the industrial and business sector. After passage in 1933, NIRA created a bureaucracy labeled, in its turn, the National Recovery Administration, or NRA. NRA was hard to contradict: Its leader was a general; its emblem, the bald eagle. “Almighty God have mercy on anyone who attempts to trifle with that bird,” General Hugh Johnson told the public. The courts seemed to agree: Nine in ten NRA cases at first were decided in favor of the government.

NRA administrators led companies in the writing of codes for their respective trades. Like the ACA’s rules, these codes were offered in agonizing and counterintuitive detail. In those days NRA codes mandated minimum wages, minimum prices, new health and safety regulations, and business practices that efficiency experts recommended whether or not firms themselves saw their logic.